New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) A warm bowl of noodle soup in the cold days of December or a spicy cold noodle salad to beat the heat in the summer, noodles in all forms are almost everybody's comfort food and what would be better than a festival that celebrates its versatality.
Pan-Asian eatery Stellar, located in one of the finest fiver-stars in the national capital, Hotel Ashok, is hosting the Noodle Festival until June 30.
The festival offers noodle-based salads, appetizers and entrees.
To start off, we were given a bowl of kimchi - fermented Korean side dish made of raw cabbage, along with three types of sauces : burnt sesame, java and coriander. This was quickly followed by our first dish and also the star of our 'noodle' journey, a hot bowl of Chinese-style chicken and mushroom noodle soup.
The chicken and the mushroom added a barbecue sweet flavour to the otherwise bland soup and gave it a very balanced feel. The mushroom was not overcooked and still had the crunch. Noodle soups tend to get quite heavy sometimes but this was hearty, delicious and made me want to have some more.
Next on the menu were two salads - crispy Chinese noodle salad with prawns and zuchini cold udon (thick Japanese wheat flour noodle) salad.
The first one should definitely come with a spice warning because it literally reduced me to tears. The spice level was so overwhelming it dominated all other flavours of the dish. The prawns were chewy - this dish was quite deceptive because it looked so innocent but exploded like a nuclear bomb.
The second salad was again an extreme. It was just too sweet. It felt like a noodle and vegetable dessert. It was just flat sweet, a little tartness could have possibly turned it into something spectacular.
For the mains, we were served noodles with roast duck and yaki udon with chicken and prawns.
The first one was definitely something I would eat again and again. The perfect balance of sweet and savoury with a little spice and the juicy, melt-in-the-mouth roast duck pieces made this dish outstanding. The duck meat may be a little on the acquired taste side, but a forkful of the dish can instantly change this.
The latter was again a little disappointing. It tasted very regular, there were just two-three prawns in the entire big plate and finding the chicken pieces was like a treasure hunt.
We ended this foodie trail with tiramisu, a piece of a decadent passionfruit cheesecake.
Stellar, earlier called Nom Nom, serves dishes from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.
Red dominates Stellar's interiors. Its walls are covered with Renaissance-style artworks and Buddha figurines. Since it is also a nightclub, it has high plush chairs in the corners.
It has a separate lounge area, a bar, a live performance area, private dining area of 14 and al fresco seating which again can hold a crowd of at least 30 people.
Where: The Ashok, 50 B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Cost for two: Rs. 2,500 (without alcohol) and Rs. 4,000 (with alcohol)
Timing: 12 noon-3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m-12:30 a.m.
(Karishma Saurabh Kalita can be contacted at email@example.com)